During the early days of the VOIP, business owners were mainly concerned about the functionality, reliability and cost of the system, they were hardly worried about the security issues related to the system. But the system’s growing acceptance and the fact that it is becoming the basis of the communication technology, security has turned out to be the most important thing to care for. VOIP is now replacing the most secured communication system and this has now become more threatening for business owners who chose it to be the backbone of their business. Some of the threats faced by VOIP users are discussed here:
- Identity & service theft: Service theft can be described as phreaking, which is actually the type of hacking that steals service from service provider and sometimes use the service by passing the cost to someone else. The method of encryption is not commonly practiced in SIP. This method actually controls the authentication over VOIP calls and provides protection against theft. Without the encryption method, user credentials are very much vulnerable to thefts.
- Eavesdropping: Eavesdropping is the method by which most of the hackers manage to steal information that includes credentials. With the help of eavesdropping, a third party can easily get the names, phone numbers as well as passwords; which later enable them to gain control over the voicemail, call forwarding, calling plan and billing information of the VOIP user. Stealing certain amount of credentials does not make the business owners to consider the VOIP system as real threat to their business; it is the theft of the business information that makes them worried. A phreaker is able to change the calling plans and packages of a business and with the access to the confidential things like voice mail; they can ruin the business completely.
- Vishing: Vishing is also known as VOIP phishing and it involves a party that calls you faking to be a trustworthy organization (like your bank or insurance company) and successfully makes you to give your critical and confidential information. You are rather helpless when you cannot differentiate between a real call and a fake one. It happens that the hacker gets access to your phone number and other details, like the name of your bank and manipulates to make you say that information which they need.
- Viruses and Malware: Utilization of VOIP involves the use of softphones and the software is very much vulnerable to viruses, worms as well as malwares. These difficulties are not unique to the VOIP system as they can happen to any other internet applications. The applications of softphones run with the help of user systems like PCs, they are exposed as well as vulnerable to malicious code attacks in voice applications.
- Denial of Service: This particular type of threat is also known as DoS, which is actually the attack on a device or network as its service or connectivity is denied. This attack is executed by consuming the bandwidth or by overloading the internal resources of the network or device. It is a big threat for VOIP as it results in premature call dropping and halting of the call process.
- SPIT: Spamming over Internet Telephony or SPIT is calling people even when they are not willing to take calls. It is very much like spam emails, but the big difference is that in case of SPIT, the person at the other end is bound to take the call or switch off their phones. Every VOIP account has a specific IP address and it becomes easy for the spammer to send their messages to thousands of IP addresses. It makes the voice mailing process to suffer.
- Call Tampering: Call tampering is the security threat when the attacker tampers the call in process. It can result in simple spoiling of the call or can go up to withholding the delivery of packets to make the communication spotty and ruin the goodwill of the business.